Had a great time yesterday at the Great Naseby Water Race, running in the 50km event. There are 4 different events at the Naseby Ultra event, with 100, 80, 50km events as well as a 2x 30km relay event. I have had the 50km race in the back of my mind for the last 3 months or so, primarily as a training run/winter motivation/ gage of fitness 3 months out from the Kepler, rather than a real “goal” race.
The 100km race started at 6am, the 80 at 9am and the 50 and relay at a very casual 10am. Jane was doing the relay with Ann, with Jane going 2nd, which was nice as she was able to support my first few laps before racing herself.
I wasn’t really sure of anyone else in the 50km, other than Gary Melhuish. Going off pre race banter, mostly between Gary and MattB (who for the record dnf the 100), Gary wasn’t “in shape”, but you never really know until race day who’s going to be on the start line and in what kind of shape. Gary and I very quickly were out on our own, cruising at a good pace, chatting a little. It felt easy enough, but it always does 3k in. I was pretty surprised how many little ups and downs the 10km loop had in it and Gary was cranking the hills pretty well. We came into the end of first lap together and ran together for about another 5k until I almost exploded with impatience. I really wanted a good work out and felt good (apart from pretty tight hamstrings), so decided to put the hurt on myself. For the next 15-20km I cranked it, feeling strong, although my hamstrings were still fairly tight. I picked up my training buddy George at the start of my 3rd lap and he ran the last 30km with me. I knew I was moving along and was putting myself on pace for about a 3hr35min run, but I also knew I was running myself into the ground. With about 15km to go the writing was on the wall and I knew I was not going to get Adrian Bailey’s 3hr41min course record, a time that I had in the back of my mind going into the race. With 10k to go all I needed was a 48-49min lap to get Adrian’s CR, but was really on the ropes.
I blew up pretty bad, closing in 53mins, but it was a great training run and a great learning experience. There is still a lot of work to do for the Kepler over the next 12 weeks, but I have a lot of confidence from yesterday, even though I blew out in the final 10.
Gary took out 2nd, but ended up having a rough time also, but was great to see he gutted it out and finished. I’m looking forward to seeing what he does in the next 12 weeks before the Kelper!
Splits- Lap1- 44min, L2-43, L341, L4-43, L5-53 = 3hr45min